Saturday, May 29, 2010


I have written a great deal about the products I purchase for my dogs, but rarely do I write about the product I purchase for my cats. This is strange because I am, at my heart, a cat person. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dogs, but dogs are like children in that you can’t just leave them for a few days with an extra bowl of food and water and expect them to be ok. Not that I would do that to my cats, but I could, and that is what I like about them. They re like little furry, independent people who really have no interest in what you are doing. They like knowing that you are around at times, but for the most part, they couldn’t; care less about your comings and goings, and more often than not, they just want to be fed, watered and left alone. I love that in an animal.

For these and several other reasons, I have always had cats. When I say “always” I mean that since I’ve been an adult and not living in my parent’s house. Under those circumstances, I had no pets because the inconvenience of even a cat was too much for my parents to bear. But I digress, I have always had cats because they are independent. They are easy. They require little extra effort, and they don’t cling. The first time I spent an afternoon with a dog, I thought it was the most annoying situation I had ever encountered. They followed us everywhere. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why this was such a great thing. It was like having a canine stalker. I don’t much care for being followed by any living thing. Canine or otherwise. It just seemed weird to me. So cats it was. They would jump on my lap for a minute or two. Maybe watch an episode of CSI with me and then be gone. I’d find them hours later under the bed or in the closet or on the pillow, looking inquisitively up at me with those big brown hazel eyes, questioning my intentions and wondering how I deigned to disturb their slumber.

Cats are prefect. They sleep all day and most of the night. They have no interest in walking on a leash and only need a few chin scratches every now and again. Of course, we are talking about me here, I have managed to turn even my low maintenance cats in little divas. Enter Emery Cat. Granted Emery Cat was not entirely purchased for the pleasure of the cats. It was as much purchased to keep them from annihilating the chairs as to keep prevent them from having to go through the torture of getting their claws trimmed. Trimming a cat’s claws is sort of like baby’s first haircut. They scream and scream and scream until you stop and then they completely forget what they were screaming about. The whole process is not as traumatic as all that, but still, cats are opportunists so if there is an easier way, why not take it? If given the chance and a Visa, any cat would.

I ordered the Emery Cat for only $19.95 plus shipping and handling which conveniently comes with not one, but two Emery Cats. I figured I could give one to my sister in law who has two semi-destructive cats of her own to contend with. All together, the bill came to over $35. I think it was $36 and change, I though this was a little steep for a corrugated cardboard arch, but my babies are spoiled, so I didn’t cancel my order.

The package comes with a corrugated cardboard arch coated in some sort of sand-induced adhesive, a plastic base for the arch to sit in, a baggie of kitty crack (aka catnip), a feather on a stick to put into a little hole in the a plastic base and a de-shedder. The sand-induced adhesive is intended to file down the cat’s claws as it scratches. A good idea, as I can’t tell you how many times, in the absence of a nail file I have run my nails over the sidewalk to try to get rid of the ragged edges. I’m not certain what the point of the de-shedder is, since I think every pet owner has at least one. I can say for certain that I didn’t need another de-shedder (much less two) since I seem to have been collecting them at a rate of about one a year for the past 20 years. I’m a little unclear as to why I have so many, but I do. Perhaps I need to donate them to the de-shedder de-prived or something.

When Emery Cat arrived, I set it up (sans the feather on a stick because Bobo the young dog likes to eat those), sprinkled the kitty crack on the corrugated cardboard and put it out for a rapid test. Actually, I need to caveat that a little. I threw away the plastic arch and tied the corrugated cardboard to the old battered corrugated cardboard tied to a brick that my cats currently use. Its tied to the brick so Bobo won’t eat it. (Are you sensing a theme here?). Once secured to the brick, my youngest cat (Nugget) made a b-line for Emery Cat it right away. My older one (Muffin) was a little hesitant. She doesn’t care much for new things and is oddly suspicious of anything the young one finds enjoyable.

With Nugget scratching away, I thought that perhaps the $36 plus was well spent and put the second Emery Cat together and put it in the room with their food and little box, safely away from Bobo’s curious mouth. The “cat bathroom” as we have so lovingly named it, is behind a baby gate and therefore safe from the scavenging, cat food and cat poop eating tendencies of Bobo. Neither cat would have anything to do with that Emery Cat setup. I’m not sure if it’s presence makes too much clutter, or if it’s just that cats don’t play where they eat. Either way, neither Nugget nor Muffin had any interest in the Emery Cat as set up as intended. In fact, Nugget quickly lost interest in the arch tied to the brick and instead reverted back to the old, flat, sand-less, seriously mangled corrugated cardboard scratch area. Both were tied to the same brick, so it wasn’t as issue of convenience, I guess they just didn’t care for the way it felt on their little feet. I thought it was a good idea, but clearly I was mistaken.

I still have the Emery Cat set up in the cat bathroom and tied to the brick, but they still insist on using the furniture and their old corrugated cardboard. Maybe they just need more time. Maybe the kitty crack wasn’t strong enough. Maybe they are just creatures of habit and don’t like their routine being messed with. Either way, I don’t think I could recommend this product. They cats’ don’t use it and unless you need a de-shedder, your money is better spent elsewhere.

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